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Odysseusís son. An infant when Odysseus left for Troy, Telemachus is about twenty at the beginning of the story. He is a natural obstacle to the suitors desperately courting his mother,...
The protagonist of the Odyssey. Odysseus fought among the other Greek heroes at Troy and now struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope...
Wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus. Penelope spends her days in the palace pining for the husband who left for Troy twenty years earlier and never returned. Homer portrays her...
Daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle, and the womanly arts. Athena assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic, and she speaks up for...
God of the sea. As the suitors are Odysseusís mortal antagonists, Poseidon is his divine antagonist. He despises Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, and constantly...
King of gods and men, who mediates the disputes of the gods on Mount Olympus. Zeus is occasionally depicted as weighing menís fates in his scales. He sometimes helps Odysseus or permits...
The most arrogant of Penelopeís suitors. Antinous leads the campaign to have Telemachus killed. Unlike the other suitors, he is never portrayed sympathetically, and he is the first...
A manipulative, deceitful suitor. Eurymachusís charisma and duplicity allow him to exert some influence over the other suitors.
Among the dozens of suitors, the only decent man seeking Penelopeís hand in marriage. Amphinomus sometimes speaks up for Odysseus and Telemachus, but he is killed like the rest of the...
The loyal shepherd who, along with the cowherd Philoetius, helps Odysseus reclaim his throne after his return to Ithaca. Even though he does not know that the vagabond who appears at...
The aged and loyal servant who nursed Odysseus and Telemachus when they were babies. Eurycleia is well informed about palace intrigues and serves as confidante to her masters. She keeps...
The brother of Melantho. Melanthius is a treacherous and opportunistic goatherd who supports the suitors, especially Eurymachus, and abuses the beggar who appears in Odysseusís palace,...
Sister of Melanthius and maidservant in Odysseusís palace. Like her brother, Melantho abuses the beggar in the palace, not knowing that the man is Odysseus. She is having an affair...
The beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus when he lands on her island-home of Ogygia. Calypso holds him prisoner there for seven years until Hermes, the messenger god, persuades...
One of the Cyclopes (uncivilized one-eyed giants) whose island Odysseus comes to soon after leaving Troy. Polyphemus imprisons Odysseus and his crew and tries to eat them, but Odysseus...
The beautiful witch-goddess who transforms Odysseusís crew into swine when he lands on her island. With Hermesí help, Odysseus resists Circeís powers and then becomes her lover, living...
Odysseusís aging father, who resides on a farm in Ithaca. In despair and physical decline, Laertes regains his spirit when Odysseus returns and eventually kills Antinousís father.
A Theban prophet who inhabits the underworld. Tiresias meets Odysseus when Odysseus journeys to the underworld in Book 11. He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus...
King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, and husband of Helen, he helped lead the Greeks in the Trojan War. He offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find Odysseus when Telemachus...
Wife of Menelaus and queen of Sparta. Helenís abduction from Sparta by the Trojans sparked the Trojan War. Her beauty is without parallel, but she is criticized for giving in to her...
The beautiful daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of the Phaeacians. Nausicaa discovers Odysseus on the beach at Scheria and, out of budding affection for him, ensures his warm...
enormous dangerous whirlpool
god of music, poetry, prophecy, and medicine
another memeber of the crew
creatures whose songs lure sialors to their deaths
sea monster of gray rock-6 heads
God of the Sun. Odysseus earns his wrath when his crew eats some of Helios' sacred cattle.
people who eat the Lotus plant, a narcotic.
master of the winds